For our “Held and Beloved” online study friends, taking a moment this morning to lift up our new study week…
Dear heavenly, gracious Father, we come to You. We still our hearts and tune our ears to listen. What do You long to reveal to us through these stories? Surrender. We are all facing the reality of surrendering our choices, our desires, even our sense of “normal” daily routines. Let us not just hold our breath, dig deep and solider on until the challenge is over. Stir us to look for the deeper “reboot,” drawing our attention to Your vision for this day and every day hereafter. Transform our hearts to only desire what You truly desire! Lead us to honor You with the surrender of our most treasured gifts. In the Name of Your Son and our Savior, the LORD JESUS, amen.
“O our GOD … our eyes are on You.” 2 Chronicles 20:12
This week we will take a look at CHAPTER EIGHT. As you have time on your own, read through the chapter and the accompanying Bible passages. Keep a notebook handy to jot down anything that touches your heart, encourages you, leaves you with questions. Through the week, as the LORD leads you, comment below?
• CHAPTER EIGHT •
“the One who is worthy of my surrender: blessed is she who is broken and spilled out”
Brief summary: Hannah poured her broken heart out to the LORD in prayer, praised Him for His gracious answer, and willingly surrendered her son to the LORD’s service. Mary poured out valuable ointment to lavish her love on JESUS. As the author continued to wrestle with her husband’s failing health and need for a new job, she realized her own tangled longings for home, surrendering afresh to the stronger pull of following the LORD wherever He would lead them. The LORD revealed Himself as the One who is worthy of the surrender of our whole hearts, the One whose heart is touched when we offer our most treasured gifts!
Read more of their stories here… and reflect on your own:
HANNAH (I Samuel 1–2)
What was the cry of Hannah’s heart? How did she respond to hurtful actions against her? To whom did she confide her deepest longings? How did the Lord honor her faithfulness to Him? With what act of surrender and worship did Hannah honor the Lord in return? How was Hannah’s willing surrender a turning point in her story and that of God’s people?
MARY OF BETHANY (John 11, 12:1–8)
What was the longing of Mary’s heart? How did she respond to hurtful words against her? What did she surrender to the Lord? In what ways did her gift honor Him? How did Jesus honor her in return? How did her actions change the atmosphere in their home?
What anguish of your heart could you pour out before the Lord? What verses encourage you that you can trust Him with your longings? What hold-out places in your heart might the Lord be calling you to surrender? How might it touch His heart to receive your most treasured gift?
“I beseech you… by the mercies of GOD, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to GOD, which is your reasonable service.
The love of CHRIST constrains us.”
Romans 12:1, 2 Corinthians 5:14
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